Marie Kondo, a Japanese native is sweeping the world with her simple and incredible book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I recently picked up this book in order to find out what everyone was talking about and found myself amongst the millions of people shouting from rooftops about the power of the KonMari method. The process is hilariously simple, doesn’t require a trip to the Container Store and will leave you feeling liberated and excited to do more tidying up.

Here are 6 tips to help you get started on getting your home and life organized from the Organizational Goddess, Marie Kondo.

1. Sort by Category, Not Location

Organize your home interior the right way
Helping each other organize The New Yorker

Before reading about the KonMari method, when it came time to organize and clean, I would go room by room and tackle each project. But Marie Kondo tells us something different and new, she tells us to tidy up by category not room. This feels odd at first, but eventually it all starts to make sense. For example, in her book she recommends you start with clothing as your first step to tidying up. You gather all your clothes, and she means ALL of your clothes, even your socks, from every room in the house, you say a little prayer and without any distractions, including music, you begin the process.

You start with clothes, then books, papers, and Komono which is your miscellaneous and sometimes sentimental items.

2. Tidy Up All At Once

Keep your interior bedroom closet organized all the time
Keeping the bedroom closet organized Pinterest

I tend to be a procrastinator and have a tendency towards laziness when it comes to clutter. Every book I’ve ever read on getting organized tells us that taking a small project on everyday will eventually lead to a more organized house. The KonMari method tells us something entirely different. She recommends doing at all at once so that you’ll have a system in place to stay tidy. By all at once she means the whole process can take around 6 months to get through everything.

3. Does it Spark Joy?

The ultimate goal of interior home organization
Does it? Live Your Fun

This is where I became a little skeptical with Marie and her method. She claims that while tidying up, you can pick up an item and ask yourself it it feels like it “sparks joy” for you or if it doesn’t. The things that don’t spark joy are the things you audibly thank for their service to you and free them to charity or if they aren’t in good condition, you get rid of them. By thanking them for the ways they’ve helped you, you are more able to let things go.

One of the most important thing that stuck with me after reading this book and trying the method was the concept of not keeping gifts out of guilt. But Marie Kondo says that the gift serves it purpose from the moment of joy that comes from gift giving, and from that moment we can let go and be okay with not keeping it.

4. Put Away Clothes the Right Way

Folding your clothing correctly in the closet space
Storing joyfully The Boston Globe
How to fold pants according to the KonMari Method.
How to fold pants according to the KonMari Method. Source: The Boston Globe

Trust me when I say, this changes everything.

5. Recycle All That Paper Clutter

Cleaning also means recycling and upcycling
A bit on an oxymoron but Paper Online

Don’t keep all that paperwork around out of fear of needing it. Everything you could need can be scanned, saved and the paper discarded, you don’t need it around cluttering your home and head.

6. Discard Before You Put Back

Keep everything neat and tidy in the bedroom closet
Keeping clothing in the closet Modern Mrs. Darcy

This is essential to the method! Go through all your things and discard all the items that do not spark joy for you before you start putting things away. If you don’t, you will be able to justify keeping things just because you now have more space for them.

Marie Kondo sums up the entire essence of her book with one sentence in her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: “The place we live should be for the person we are becoming now – not for the person we have been in the past.” Let your home become your oasis and give the KonMari method a try.

Join the conversation